Trinity Western University will launch new game development program in the fall. (TWU/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Control, alt, degree

Trinity Western to launch game development program this fall

Video game enthusiasts can put down the controller and pick up a gaming degree in the Fraser Valley. Trinity Western University (TWU) has announced a new Bachelor of Arts degree in Game Development which officially launches this September.

The four-year program was spearheaded by TWU’s Dr. Kevin Schut, who authored the book Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games in 2013. He had been teaching theoretical and cultural criticism classes on gaming when he saw the potential for Christian courses.

“Gaming is a big part of the cultural landscape – but Christians don’t make up a big part of the industry,” Schut said. “I love gaming but there is a lot of dark and negative stuff in both video games and the games industry. We want to prepare students to take their faith into the workplace so they can change culture for the better.”

TWU is a Christian university of the arts, sciences, and professions that offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 17 graduate degrees, and adult degree-completion programs. It was founded in 1962 in Langley and enrolls 4,000 students on an annual basis.

Schut recalled several one-off classes in 2008 and 2011 where students were able to develop their own video game projects. He described those projects as the new program’s initial start.

“Those games were playable but that was about all that they could really do,” Schut explained. “But it was evidence that there is an interest in game development.”

Last summer, TWU lost its legal battle over accreditation for a planned law school based on the school’s controversial Community Covenant requiring students and staff to abstain from sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage.

After the release of Schuts’ book, game development courses were put in development themselves for the past five years. Now, the 2019/20 school year will welcome the first intake of students.

“There will be four different streams – art design, music and sound, software development, and then design itself which is a little more broad. It looks at the actual rules and play of a game; there’s also writing courses as well,” Schut said.

The new program is making use of TWU’s current facilities but plans are to expand their space on campus as interest grows.

“Right now there is a visual design lab,” Schut explained, “and we’ll have five to 10 part time instructors. We are looking at renovating spaces and having a new academic building for Game Development.”

Read more: Trinity Western professor awarded for tech excellence

At the end of their degree, graduates will come out of the program with a portfolio to take to game design companies.

“The idea is that the students will be coming in to mini-studios,” Schut added. “But it’s not all about programming and not just about making money either. Students are taught viable business models and taught to think more entrepreneurial.”

TWU is accepting applications throughout the summer. People interested in the program can visit www.twu.ca/academics/school-arts-media-culture/game-development.

Though there are no requirements to design a specifically Christian-themed game, several courses incorperate faith, spiritually, morals, and ethics into business and storytelling practises.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

WEATHER: A mostly cloudy Monday in Langley

Environment Canada says rain is expected late afternoon

VIDEO: Giants toppled by visiting Hurricanes

Sunday afternoon play at Langley Events Centre saw a team from Lethbridge defeat Vancouver, 6-0

VIDEO: wet weather a boon to Langley salmon hatchery

Rain raises water levels enough for Nicomekl Enhancement Society to collect fish

VIDEO: Spartans men’s volleyball coach Josephson records 200th win

Former player with Langley-based Trinity Western University team has a .763 winning percentage

Statistically, Trinity Western Spartans women’s volleyball team played a great game against Manitoba. Also, they won

Langley-based team started with an opening set by hitting .731 and committing just one error.

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Environmental and animal rights activists chain themselves to front doors of Kelowna bank

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

PHOTOS: Snoozing seal pup captures attention at White Rock Pier

Dozens of seals spent the day at White Rock’s iconic structure

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Most Read